[Travelogue] The Okinawa Escapade- Up The Hills & By the Sea

Hyakuna Garan 百名伽藍

img_2108220 degrees of unblocked sea view on one side and mountains in the background. Hyakuna Garan certainly does not need any other introduction nor persuasion in getting me behind the wheels if just for a look see. Built on a cape, the drive to this luxury resort was just as captivating. Every turn induced a gasp of bewilderment. The Okinawa sea is indeed breathtaking. The serene scenic route that leads to Hyakuna Garan preps you for what lies ahead.

The large mansion where Hyakuna Garan sits

A petite female staff was standing by the shaded entrance awaiting our arrival as promised when we called to make our lunch reservation. The one and only restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a medium sized long dining hall so simply decorated and furnished, it almost feels incomplete. But who needs fancy artwork or plush carpets when the panoramic view of the beautiful sea is right before your eyes anywhere you’re seated!

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The menu consists of a selection of Kaisekis. Each with about 10 courses prepared with detail and intricacy. My Ryobo Lunch Course (¥5000 ) was very substantial albeit the small portions. The restaurant source their ingredients locally. Every dish is done in different cooking methods. From raw to steamed, fried, pickled, smoked, baked, poached and so forth. The dishes vary in tastes and textures. Frankly, not every item appealed to me, but the fine points in preparation, presentation, not to mention the superb service shown throughout our visit very much made up for any shortfalls. What’s exceptionally memorable, though, is the spectacular view that came with my lunch. Priceless!

View from the restaurant
View from the roof
The surrounding garden

If you’d like a vacation or a meal far away from the maddening city. This is one cape you should head to.

Hyakuna Garan 百名伽藍 @ 玉城百名山下原1299-1 Hyakuna Yamashitahara, Tamagusuku-Aza, Nanjo City, Okinawa, Japan  Phone:0081-98-949-1011

Ippuku-ya Cafeimg_2130

We chanced upon Ippuku-ya on our way back from Mayagi Island. The standalone house in the middle of no where did not scream “Come’on in!!”, but the wholesome, simple decor and full bloomed flowers were inviting enough. Also, when you’re thirsty and hungry, you’d give any restaurant a chance. Recognizing the only word, “cafe” at the entrance was enough for us to pull over.

We climbed up a flight of tired looking steps to what appears to be the patio of the old fashioned house… and hidden behind the simple facade was a mishmash of nostalgic memorabilia, DIY furniture, quirky art, refurbished antiques and salvaged treasures! A longtail-boat-turned-table fronts the large patio. Seashells, big and small, accent every corner of the house. Anchor ropes, buoy rings, coconuts, old payphones, sewing machines, archaic water-skis, anchors and bygone radios are just some of the many collector’s items scattered delightfully around the house. We were immediately tickled by the cool decor of this quaint little cafe run by a soft spoken couple. The humble menu boasts just a handful of home made noodle dishes, snacks and beverages. We tucked in on a barrel converted table, overlooking treetops, the jetty and out into the sea. Just another couple shared this quiet, peaceful alcove while we were there. I’m not sure if it ever packs in a crowd, and by crowd, I mean 15 people tops! But I can definitely visualize beautiful daily sunsets on this lovely patio.

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From top left clockwise: The potato starch and wheat noodles are served hot or cold in a clear oxtail broth. The slightly chewy transparent noodles are yummy though the broth was just a tad bland! The menu consisting of noodles and snacks, icy drinks and slushies… perfect for a hot Okinawa summer. The simple facade of the cottage.pickerimageBest seat in the house!

Ippuku-ya Cafe @ 2553-1 Yonashirohenza Uruma Okinawa 沖縄県 うるま市 与那城平安座 2553-1  Phone: 098-983-1600


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